Elisabetta Morlino

Elisabetta Morlino is Professor of Law at the University of Naples ‘Suor Orsola Benincasa’, where she teaches Administrative Law and Environmental Law.

She holds degrees from the University of Florence (Law degree, with honors) and the NYU School of Law (LL.M. in International Legal Studies, as Hugo Grotius Scholar). She earned her Ph.D. in Global Administrative Law from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (now Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy).

She has been visiting research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and Emile Noël Fellow at the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice of the NYU School of Law. She has been awarded the Jemolo Fellowship from the University of Oxford for the a.y. 2024-25.

She has been visiting professor at the Católica Global School of Law (Lisbon), the Université Catholique de Lille (Lille), SciencesPo (Paris), LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome), Bocconi University (Milan), the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) (Athens/Capo Sounion).

She is the author of books and articles on international organizations’ governance, global administrative law, European and domestic administrative law, environmental law.

She has been awarded the ICONS Book Prize 2020 by the International Society of Public Law for the book Procurement by International Organizations. A Global Administrative Law Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

She is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and member of the Editorial Board of the International Organizations Law Review.

Prior to joining academia, she has worked as procurement officer for the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Rome and, as an extern, for the UN Office of Legal Affairs in New York.

She has been member of the NATO/ NSPA Independent Award Review and Debarment Board, an independent judicial body deciding on public procurement disputes between NATO and private parties.

She is currently member of the commission in charge of reforming the Italian Environmental Code.

CONTACT: em777@nyu.edu

Research Project

Power and Responsibility. From the Age of Rights to the Ethics of Duties. Public debate and legal scholarship in recent decades have been dominated by two themes: rights - of individuals; and power - of public authorities. Public power and responsibility is the hendiadys that has been at the heart of the age of rights. Individual duties and responsibilities were left in the background of this debate. Individual duties and responsibilities, however, regain relevance in the light of more recent transformations of power and the changed relationship between power and responsibility. The transformations of power concern both the subjects who exercise it and the sphere in which it is exercised. We can no longer speak of power, but must speak of powers in the plural, indeed of ‘new powers’. The processes of internationalisation and European integration, and the relevance that technological and digital innovation has acquired, have led to a multiplication of the subjects that exercise power and to their diversification. But are the old and ‘new powers’ responsible, that is, are they subject to forms of effective accountability? The research intends to investigate these changes in power and responsibility: what factors have contributed historically to the emergence of the responsibility of public authorities and have marked the stages of its development? Has globalisation reshaped accountability? What elements currently characterise the accountability of public power and of private powers performing public functions? Can it be said that public and private powers performing public functions are today fully accountable for their activities and decisions, or are there grey areas in which these powers are only partly accountable or not at all? And if there are limits, to what extent are they the result of old and established authority dynamics or instead the result of the emergence of new conditions and obstacles? And, on the prescriptive level, is it possible to theorise an ethics of duties and responsibilities that complements and reinforces the system of rights?